Open New York State of Mind

Dianne Katz

Diana Katz '12, Development Associate

Major: Five College Film Studies, minor in Art History

Internships: Harvard Film Archive; Visual Design Internship with Anthropologie; American Documentary's POV

Employer: The Metropolitan Opera

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up working at The Metropolitan Opera. Of course, I do not mean this in a negative way. However, four years ago, the opera was not even remotely part of my thought process. As a Film Studies major, with a strong conviction to break into the film world, I moved to New York City a few weeks after my graduation. I had two internships on the summer docket, one in film preservation and the other at American Documentary's POV.

These internships were pivotal. I realized quite early on, that film preservation was not the right fit for me. I did not enjoy being behind the scenes and embarrassingly, I did not have the adequate upper body strength to wind the 35mm reels. I decided to leave this internship and focus solely on my work at American Documentary. Even though I do not like giving up, in hindsight this was a smart move. I'll give myself a little credit.

My supervisors at American Documentary assigned me to the development department, a decision that was pretty much based off my personality. I did not know anything about development at the time, other than it was a fancy word for fundraising. I spent my summer conducting extensive prospect research on corporations and foundations that might have an interest in supporting the acclaimed documentary series.

Since the end of my internship at American Documentary in the summer of 2012, I've worked in a development capacity at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Museum of Modern Art and ultimately, The Metropolitan Opera. Needless to say, my knowledge of development has expanded and I am almost certain that this is my career path. So, I'm not working in film right now, but for the past two years I have learned a lot about opera and I work with one of the best development departments in any non-profit organization.

My career has been rather circuitous. It's important to keep an open mind, and who knows, I could find myself at another film organization in the future. I hope this proves that there is no limit to what's possible with a Film Studies degree from Mount Holyoke.